Nouscom has finally got its permanent CEO as it also nabs a new chief medical officer out of Amal Therapeutics.
While only a few years old, European cancer vaccine biotech Nouscom has seen a lot of C-suite movement, and 2020 has started no differently.
Novartis and Versant alumnus Marina Udier, Ph.D., is now the biotech’s full-time chief, having become its interim CEO back in May last year after the retirement of former CEO and founder Alfredo Nicosia, Ph.D.
She had before this been its chief operating officer, coming to the company in 2016 off the back of stints at life sciences VC Versant Ventures and commercial roles at Novartis.
Along with her rise to CEO, the biotech also announced its second CMO in as many years: Patricia Delaite, M.D., takes on that role “with immediate effect” and comes from another early-stage cancer vaccine player: Amal, which was bought out last summer by German pharma Boehringer Ingelheim.
Though not mentioned in the release, Udier will presumably take over from former CMO Adrian Woolfson, M.D., Ph.D. Woolfson is Pfizer’s former global clinical leader of early- and late-stage immuno-oncology/hematology. He became Nouscom’s CMO in May 2018.
The biotech is working on clinical development of its neoantigen off-the-shelf vaccine targeting tumors associated with microsatellite instability as well as personalized neoantigen vaccines and oncolytic virus programs.
Guido Magni, M.D., Nouscom’s chair, said: “The board has been impressed with the operational and strategic achievements made since Marina was appointed CEO on an interim basis in May 2019. During this time, Nouscom received IND clearance for its lead program NOUS-209, an off-the-shelf cancer vaccine based on shared frame shift neoantigens, and advanced this exciting candidate into its first-in-human clinical studies in the U.S.
She has also been instrumental in building a strong team with the recruitment of Patricia as CMO. The Board has therefore decided to make Marina’s appointment as CEO permanent and has confidence in her ability to lead the business into its next chapter.”
Udier added: “I am pleased to welcome Patricia to the team. Attracting a CMO of her caliber underlines the continued transition that Nouscom is making from a research-led to a clinical-stage company.
“Given her prior experience as CMO and a strong track record in drug development, Patricia brings new skills to our team, which will be vital as we advance our Phase I study evaluating NOUS-209 and progress our personalized program, NOUS-PEV, into clinical studies, which are expected to start later this year.”